Friday, February 24, 2012

Subash Palekar's zero budget no-till rice farming

This is some information about Zero budget farming after reading Subash Palekar's books and also interacting with farmers. I have also given a brief about zero budget no-till rice farming given in Subash Palekar's "Techniques of Spiritual farming". I don't practice zero budget farming, but follow natural farming as advocated by Masanobu Fukuoka.

Zero budget farming advocated by Subash Palekar from Maharashtra is popular in different states of India. This method basically talks about mulching using agriculture waste generated from farm, mixed cropping with stressing importance of leguminous crops and also applying a set of preparations based on cow dung, urine of traditional Indian cow. This is called as Zero budget since all the required things can be cultivated at farm itself and hence no inputs has to be brought from outside.

The most popular preparation is Jeewamritha which has cow dung, cow urine, pulse powder, jaggery and a handful of soil. Jeewamritha is not talked as a fertiliser rather it contains lot of microbes and hence decomposition of the mulch becomes faster and earth worm activity becomes more and land becomes fertile. People who has used Jeewamritha tells that visible changes in the earth worms can be seen within a week itself. Also one good thing is that 1 local cow is enough for 30 acres of land. The calculation goes like this, Jeewamritha has to be applied once in a month per acre and local cow gives 10Kgs of cowdung per day which is sufficient for an acre in a day. So within a month all 30 acres can be completed once and cycle repeats. I was impressed with this scheme, since 1 cow per 30 acre of land seems to be a sustainable model. After seeing some farms I felt that if the cows increases in the farm, the fertility will reduce since no grass will be left for mulching.

Subash Palekar's has written three books on Zero budget farming..Principles of Zero budget farming, Philosophy of Zero budget farming and Techniques of zero budget farming. The book Techniques of zero budget farming gives a clear description of how all mixed cropping can be done and a description of how various crops are cultivated using Zero budget farming philosophy.

I had visited some zero budget farms - Krishnappa Dasappa Gowda in Mysore, Manoj in Kanjikode, Palakkad, Chandrasekhar, Vithinaserry, Palakkad and Dr. Raju , Karivannur, Thrissur.

Subash Palekar also talks about zero budget no-till paddy farming in his book - Techniques of spiritual farming. This method goes like this..

When the paddy crop is standing and 15 days before harvest, broadcast Bijamritha treated seeds of pulses like beans,cow pea, green gram etc..Some seeds will fall on the paddy but eventually they also will end up in ground. There will be sufficient water for these pulses to germinate.Since paddy is already matured the leaves will allow more sunlight to reach the pulses which will be sufficient for them to germinate and come up.

During harvesting the seedlings of the pulses will be crushed, but they will again standup. The same thing was described in One straw revolution, but the seedlings in that case are rice seedling..typically the pulse seedlings may break if they are crushed by the foots of the harvesters, so not completely convinced if it will work. Now apply Jeewamritha periodically.

Now on the bunds of the fields he asks to plant glyricedia, pegion pea, turmeric, ginger, cow pea etc..and use the waste from all these for mulching the field later. Glyrecedia provides mulching material at each 21 days.

In March, pulses will be matured, harvest and return all the remains to the field. Also mulch with straw immediately after harvesting the pulses. This may be to avoid hardening of soil with sun light and wind...Apply Jeewamritha over this...March, April and May the soil will be covered with straw.. In the first week of May treat the paddy seeds with Beejamritha. Make holes in the mulch at the distance of 9 inches to 1.5 feet and dibble the seeds into this and add some soil over to it using sickle. Pre-monsoon rain starts by may end and apply Jeewamritha and keep applying Jeewamritha once in 15 days. And again before harvesting the paddy sow the pulses and cycle continues.

This method looks to be impressive, now would like to see some one really practicing it.






49 comments:

Mahatma2011 said...

Excelente! greetings from Argentina! :)

Nandakumar said...

Thanks..Just glanced your blog, even though couldn't make out, could see lot of interesting photos


Nandan

Amogh said...

I appreciate you really from my heart....
The information which you provided is really inspiring.
Better keep on educating and motivate us.
Jai Jawan Jai Kissan

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Amogh

★ Shine said...

Appreciate this post and your interest in Zero Budget Natural Farming.
Guess you might be interested in http://zbnfkerala.com/

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Shine. Gone through http://zbnfkerala.com/ and it looks good. It will be good to give details of farmers who practice zero budget farming.

Keep in touch

Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

Hi i just now read this Blog and from past obeweek am looking on Plaekar Method. I have land and i want to Grow Vegetables that is Cabbage & cauliflower. Cna anyone of explain for this also we have to treat the seeds with Bijamitra will this formula work out....My email ID ..Praveen.patil28@gmail.com

Nandakumar said...

Hi Praveen,
You can look at this web site for Bijamritha preparation and applying.

http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/Bijamrita.aspx

I haven't used this, but my feeling is that the seedlings will have better initial growth and there will be effect of this.

Regards,
Nandan

navanna said...

Happened to see the blog only today. A very good comprehension of Palekar's method. Keep blogging.
R Narayanan
navanna@sify.com

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Narayanan for motivating comments


Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

Hi
Is there any web site to download subash palekar ZBNF book
Best Regards
Bala Krishna

Nandakumar said...

Hi Bala Krishna,

Haven't seen any downloadable versions. It is available in Atermedia, Trichur, Kerala..and can buy online from Vedic books, Earth care books etc..

Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

HI

Santosh said...

Hi
This is santosh from Bijapur, I hv gone through this new technic , really impressed. I bought a book & hv gone through that, so I decided to start this so before that I want to visit those farmers who hv used this & u mentioned some formers whome u visited so could u give their full address & contact no so I can visit & hv live experience.. so please help... I hope u can sir
Thanku

Nandakumar said...

Hi Santhosh,

You can find address of zero budget farmers here.

http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/PDF/Model_farmers_adress.pdf

Subash Palekar's book also will have the latest contact details. But I couldn't find any farmer who does no-till rice.

Regards,
Nandan

Anonymous said...

Were can I get zero farming boos of Subhash Palekar

Nandakumar said...

Check in www.vedicbooks.net or Alter media, Trichur, Kerala

Regards,
Nandan

Likhmaram jyani said...

राजस्थान की रेतीली धरती पर पालेकर जी की तकनीक की क्या सम्भावनाऐं हो सकती है, कृपया बतावें।

Nandakumar said...

Jeevamritham, leguminous mulching and mixed cropping as suggested by Subash Palekar should work on any land

Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

Hi

please how to start zero budget natural farming.
\
If you have any projects on this plz share it to msantu222@gmail.com.
or contact to this number +91 9743820800 ASAP.

Nandakumar said...

Hi Santhosh, You can check youtube and get some videos on zero budget farming

Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

Hi Nadandkumar . I am Mahesh Sakhalkar am engineer by qualifications and currently director in a company called utopia ..I am seriously thinking on starting zero budget farming.i donot have a land of my own . I am thinking of taking it on lease and establish this concept of farming and take it ahead . Can u pl advice as how should I go ahead

Unknown said...

Hi Nandan .I am Mahesh want to work on the concept of zbnf on lease land . Can u pl advice as how should I start this concept and take it forward over a longer period of time to get sustainable income

Nandakumar said...

Hi Mahesh,

To get an idea about zero budget farming, you can read books by Subash Palekar, there are 4 or 5 volumes, will be able to find it in net. The book contains address and phone numbers of farmers in different states and you can visit them.

All these should give you an idea of zero budget farming and you can start on a small scale first and get a hang and then expand it.

Wish you all the best with this farming venture !!! Hope more and more people come to this field...

Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

hi, there is a class led by subhash palekar , conducted at pudukkad tsr from 3rd to 10jan 2016.call 9497362839,gilbert. foor registration and info

Nandakumar said...

Vinay,

Thanks...I am aware of this class, saw about this in some magazine. My native place is Varandarapilly which is just 8Kms from Pudukkad.

Keep in touch.


Regards,
Nandan

Ramki Bondada said...

I am a software professional and live in Hyderabad. I am a great fan of natural farming & yet follower of Subhash Palekar. I have 13 acres of farm where I cultivate 50 varieties of fruits including exotic fruits like Dragon. In the farm I planted Glyricidia on the farm boundaries, have 4 India desi cows to make Jeevamritha using cow dung, urine & basin.
using farm yard waste I make manure. No tilling/plouing being done in the farm. Most of my spending is on removing bushes and put them in to a manure making pit. I apply 1-2 ltrs of jeevamritha to a the plants once in a month, apply glyricida leaves twice in a year. Application of Jeevamritha as pesticide also giving good results. Harvesting and fruits ripining as well been done in natural methods with out usage of carbides etc. These fruits are giving amazing taste and fetching very premium price in the market. Farm fresh fruits are being sold in the farm itself and organic food lovers queues up at my farm for buying fruits. We also growing nursery where we grow varieties of seedlings and sell them at no profit basis. My this farm is very close to Airport in Rajahmundry and right on main road. I welcome organic/natural farming lovers to visit my farm, contact Ramki Bondada @ 9989499749, HYDERABAD.

Nandakumar said...

Hi Ramki,


Great to hear from you !!! Would love to see some pictures of your farm..and hope you are also documenting your observations some where, would love to read that.

Will call you some time this week..

Regards,
Nandan

raja said...

i want to subash palekar ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING TELUGU BOOKS WHERE CAN I FOUND AND ONLINE DOWNLOAD PLEASE HELP ME.

Nandakumar said...

Hi Raja,

Please check the site..phone numbers are given there, you can contact Subash Palekarji.

http://www.palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/PDF/Telugu.pdf


Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

Hi, my name is UmaMahesh and working in Admin Dept in an IT Company located in Hyderabad. I am more interested in Agriculture Field. I am thinking of starting zero budget farming. I do not have any land. My plan is to work under any former who works on different kind of crops and get some knowledge and take land on lease and start the process on my own.

I am checking if somebody is there to train in this way.

Thanks
UmaMahesh K
+91 8096302389

Nandakumar said...

Dear Uma Mahesh,

Farming will take some years..so you can start it small and get a feel of it and learn by visiting, reading....

I don't know anyone who trains, will let you know if I come across.You are welcome to come and stay in my farm in rainy season, right now there is water scarcity.

Regards,
Nandan

Saran said...

I am follower of Subaash Palekar, he is a legend and I saw his videos and speech in youtube. I would like to know is there any training going to happen in Tamilnadu near future

Nandakumar said...

Sorry for the late reply. Don't have any information about the training. You can contact Subash Palekar directly. If you need his number, please email me.


Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

Hello Nandakumar,

your blog is very interesting, i have about 3 acres of land and have been following some subhash palekers methods like using jeevamrutham and agnihastram, so far i have not seen any results, what may be the issue? i have used it on my mango trees and still look dull and fully infected.

regards
Sampath

Nandakumar said...

Hi Sampath,

Nice to hear from you. You have to maintain diverse crops and make sure that no sunlight which falls on the farm goes wasted, there should be some plants to capture all the sunlight. There should be glyrecedia, subabul etc for green manuring and they should be cut and mulched periodically.

Just applying Jeevamrithm alone won't do, there should be complete cover on the ground, both live mulch and dead mulch.


Regards,
Nandan

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Shyam said...

Hi Nandan,

Thanks for the post. May I ask you if you implemented the Palekar ZBNF model on paddy. If yes, what was your experience.

We grow paddy in 1.5 acre field, primarily for our own use. I got back to farming last year and have stayed away from any inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. I had mixed results primarily due to weeds. I do not intend to go the inorganic route but implementing palekar philosophy seems herculean task for me due to following reasons,

1. Shortage of labor: We use machinary for tilling, planting, weeding and harvesting. Due to shortage of labor, it is just not possible to move away from machinaries. I understand there is no tilling in the Palekar model but how about the effect of harvestors on the seedlings. Don't they just destory them?
2. Usage of paddy straw: Since I am conscious about what I feed to my cows, I use the straws from the field since I don't use any chemicals. In the Palekar model, the straw will go back to the field for mulching rather than as cattle feed. Instead I feed green leaves back to the farm just before the tilling for next cycle. Any experience/thoughts here?
3. Weed has been one of the major issue on both the paddy cycles last year. Hand weeding is not an option if I want to break even in paddy, forget profits. The only other means I understand is the inter row machine weeding, which tills the ground to some extent. If I go for no till model while planting, the land might get so hard that it might be impossible to run the weeders. Did you face any hardships with weeds?

That's all I can think for at the moment. I have not read any of Palekar's book yet (want to buy them now but I have the lockdown excuse :)), so may be he has addressed these issues already.

Thank You,
Shyam

Nandakumar said...

Shyam, sorry for the delay in response, got held up with a few things.Here are my thoughts..

1. I haven't implemented no-till method, I was looking for options for this and came across this. I use tilled organic method for rice. Yes, harvester will destroy the seedlings. I tried to just grow cowpea after rice, it didn't establish uniformly, mainly because of moisture issues.

2. Even I put lots of green leaves in the field before tilling. I am planning to grow more glyricedia on the bunds

3. Typically after many cycles of no-till and mulching, land will become soft. As you mentioned, weeds is the major issue for me also, if I weed 2 times, I get a decent crop, if I don't do this, there will be 0 harvest.

By the way, where are you based, let us talk some time when you are free.

Regards,
Nandan

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